6 November 2020 |
Someone asked Aunt Sevvy recently, “Which of your letters and answers have garnered the most responses from readers?”
Aunty would like to say that it was one of the many that had to do with improving family relationships, or showing mercy to others, or using spiritual principles to solve everyday problems. That’s the religion that Aunty stands for: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
I’m sad to say, that wouldn’t be true, though. The most-responded to letter was one having to do with eating a pie with lard in the crust. Not only did Aunty receive numerous letters, but it’s the first time that people called the Adventist Today offices on the telephone in significant numbers, even from other countries, to protest Aunty’s advice.
These notes are representative of what Aunty received:
I find it difficult to believe that any Bible-believing person could write such a response to a simple question that addresses eating pork products. The Bible is clear upon this point of NOT EATING pork products. The question was not addressing SPIRITUALITY. This is a sad compromising article.
We need not observe any ceremonial laws. We do however need to keep our bodies healthy. As we do not smoke because that damages our bodies, what we eat must also be something that is food for our bodies. “The tissues of the swine swarm with parasites. Of the swine God said, ‘It is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.’ Deuteronomy 14:8. This command was given because swine’s flesh is unfit for food.” Ministry of Healing 313.
Aunty is very respectful of what people choose to eat. Yet in light of the many huge crises facing our world, that so many Adventists pushed this matter to the top of their list of concerns says a lot about what kind of religion we are. What of disease? What of wars? What of police brutality and racism? What of troubled families? What of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you? What, for that matter, of simply trusting and following Jesus Christ our Lord? Are these so fully absorbed, so thoroughly addressed, that we can devote ourselves to chastising people over a tablespoon of lard in a pie crust? Is that what God cares about?
We have long been a church that majors in minors. We pass around conspiracies that have no evidence, even while our congregations are dying and our young people leaving. We gossip about one another, push one another away for minor reasons, and isolate ourselves from those outside our church.
All of this speaks to the poverty of the beliefs our people hold most dear, the inability of those beliefs to create the environment for a well-rounded faith.
The evidence is clear: insisting upon healthy, clean food doesn’t make people act more like Jesus. Sometimes just the opposite. Aunty is happy for all the people who avoid the parasites in swine’s flesh. But she believes that moral and spiritual parasites are far more prevalent among us. How do we get rid of those?
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without real names. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.